Parents' Guide to

Toy Soldiers HD

By Paul Semel, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Clunky controls ruin this simplistic action strategy game.

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While this could've been a simple action strategy game, the wonky controls will annoy armchair generals. A remake of a game from 2010, Toy Soldiers HD, like the original, has you fighting famous battles from World War I by picking what kind of guns to place in specific spots to prevent enemy soldiers from navigating a linear path to your base. Along with deciding whether to build machine guns, mortars, or other kind of stationary weapons, you also have to make sure they're well maintained, upgrade them when you have enough money (don't worry, you earn cash with every enemy kill), or even swap one kind of gun for another when you realize you've made a mistake. You even get to call in foot soldiers or take over for the sniper up in a tower. More importantly, while your soldiers will automatically fight when left to their own devices, you can, at any time, take control of any gun and do the shooting for yourself. And while this doesn't make for an in-depth or realistic strategy war game, it does make for a fun if simplistic one...

...or rather, it would if the game's wonky controls didn't make this so annoying. Whether you're trying look around, use the machine gun or sniper rifle, or just accurately aim the mortar, the controls are just off enough that you'll probably miss the first time (not a good thing when using a gun that takes a moment to reload). Fortunately, your soldiers are pretty good shots, and will usually win when left to their own devices. As for this remake, not only have the visuals been updated, but this also includes the expansions they added to the original, which adds some new mini-campaigns as well as new multiplayer maps. Though why the broken control scheme wasn't addressed is odd. Because it's that aspect of this game -- whether you play the single-player campaigns or the online multiplayer modes -- that make Toy Solders HD as frustrating and awkward as, well, aiming a mortar in real life.

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